In a bid to transform the operations of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has recommended the full privatisation of the country’s electricity transmission network.
In an interview with Bloomberg on Thursday, the BPE Director-General, Alex Okoh, said the agency will “share its proposal very shortly with the National Council on Privatisation that the state-owned corporation be unbundled and then privatized”.
The Transmission Company of Nigeria, which coordinates the nation’s electricity transmission network, is one of 18 companies that were unbundled from the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in April 2004. It was incorporated in November 2005 and issued a transmission license a year later.
TCN’s licensed activities include: electricity transmission, system operation and electricity trading.
While TCN is presently fully owned and operated by the government, the BPE said there was a need to privatise it by selling off the transmission network assets to interested investors, to improve its reliability and expand its capacity.
Proposed sale of power plants
Earlier this month, the BPE called for bids from private investors to acquire five power plants with a combined capacity of almost 3,000 megawatts that the government still owns through the Niger Delta Power Holding Co, according to Bloomberg.
The NDPHC built 10 gas-fired facilities from the mid-2000s as an emergency intervention with the intention of eventually selling them.
While the BPE is proposing the sale of five of the power plants, the remaining five will still be state-owned and managed, according to Mr Okoh, Bloomberg reported.
“The objective ultimately is for the government to exit the power sector and just let the private sector drive the sector,” he said.
The privatisation agency terminated all incomplete processes it had initiated in 2014 for all 10 facilities before introducing a new privatisation process.
The proposed sale of the transmission assets will be the biggest reform Nigeria’s power system would witness since 2013 when the government unbundled the power company’s generation and distribution infrastructure.
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